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Australian gov’t criticizes Japan’s Antarctic whaling operations

  • January 16, 2017
  • , Kyodo News , 18:36
  • English Press

Australian Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg on Monday criticized Japan for continuing its whaling program in the Antarctic, saying the government is “deeply disappointed” that the international moratorium on commercial whaling is not being observed.


The comments come as Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull takes flak at home for failing to seriously address the issue with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe during his visit to Australia last weekend.


In a statement, Frydenburg reiterated Australia’s opposition to “all forms of commercial and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling,” saying there is no need to kill whales in order to study them.


The whaling issue again came to the fore in Australia after the Sea Shepherd activist group released photos Sunday showing a protected minke whale on the deck of the Nisshin Maru, a Japanese whaling vessel, with the group alleging the animal has been taken from Australian waters.


“We will continue our efforts in the International Whaling Commission to strongly oppose commercial whaling and so-called ‘scientific’ whaling, uphold the moratorium on commercial whaling, and to promote whale conservation,” Frydenburg said.


Sea Shepherd Australia’s Managing Director Jeff Hansen said the government’s response is unsatisfactory.


“The Australian government promised action for the whales — in opposition, they said there was blood in the water and a blind eye in Canberra,” he said, referring to the Liberal-National coalition that came to power in 2013.


“Now we have this whale being killed in the Australian-Antarctic sanctuary and the Australian government is silent.”

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